There is absolutely NO doubt.
He is not in any way affiliated with the US army. He is an African scammer.
The whole "request leave for me" story is an invention of African scammers. It is used solely by African scammers who are pretending to be American or British soldiers. In fact, the moment a "soldier" asks you to request leave, set up a satellite phone so he can talk to you, or apply to the US military for anything else
you can be absolutely certain that you are talking to an African scammer who has simply stolen photos of a soldier from the internet, because these are scripts of African scammers.
The US military is very much a self-contained organization. They even have their own police and justice system! In reality, even a wife cannot request leave. In fact, a wife only has interaction with specific departments who deal with family issues. Privacy rules would prevent the real US military from sharing any information about a soldier with you, because as far as the military is concerned, an online romance is nothing more than a penpal. You would also be entitled to NO benefits of any kind.
With that said, if you could post the name and email address the scammer is using, as well as some of his emails (most of these will be scripts that he has sent to dozens of other women he is also trying to scam) it could help others to avoid being scammed.
The truth is, greater than 99% of the "deployed soldiers" on dating sites are actually African scammers posing as soldiers. Contrary to the scammers pretending to be them, real soldiers are actually quite busy, and do not have hours to spend on a computer or blackberry chat every day with strangers. They are rarely, if ever, active on dating sites. They typically want to spend what communication time they do have keeping in touch with their loved ones back home.
With that said, for future “soldiers” who contact you: If the writer is not using gmail, and is not using a proxy, you can get a location by copying the FULL headers and pasting it into something like iptrackeronline: http://www.iptrackeronline.com/email-header-analysis.php
Also, every soldier is given an official email address that has their name ends in .mil
A real soldier would be able to give you his address. You could send him an email, and he could reply. Scammers can’t do this, so they will always have an excuse why. Some will claim that they are prohibited from using the email for personal business, or security reasons, or just that it is not working. These are all lies. The US military makes sure those addresses are always working and they are allowed to use them. Some will give you a made-up address, but if you can’t send them an email, and they can’t answer it, they are lying.